A mentor is a person who can support, advise, and guide you. They typically take time to get to know you and the challenges you’re facing and then use your understanding and personal experience to help you improve. It’s incredibly important to have someone in your life that you look up to and respect. This person becomes a positive role model that you emulate and learn from. Even more than a role model, this person can become a mentor. The purpose of a mentor is to help you grow as a person and become the best version of yourself. This may involve helping you achieve your personal or career goals, introducing you to new ways of thinking, challenging your limiting assumptions, sharing valuable life lessons and more.
Traits of a good mentor include:
- Being a good listener
- Asking good questions
For years, finding a mentor has been advocated as a career and personal development practice. In 2020, more individuals than ever want a mentor, and more organizations are trying to provide workplace mentoring as a learning and development initiative. The impact is vast, for both the person being mentored, the person doing the mentoring, and the organizations they work at. Countless studies have been carried out on the positive effects mentoring can have, from confidence to mental health, to promotion likelihood.
General Mentoring Statistics:
- 84% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs, and 100% of Fortune 50 companies
- Of those with a mentor, 97% say they are valuable
- Yet only 37% of professionals have a mentor
- 89% of those who have been mentored will also go on to mentor others
Mentoring for Career Development Statistics:
- 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who did not participate
- Mentees are promoted 5 times more often than those without mentors
- And mentors themselves are 6 times more likely to be promoted
- 89% of those with mentors believe their colleagues value their work, compared with 75% who do not have mentors
- 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships and have developed greater confidence
Who is a mentor?
Mentors come in many different forms, including teachers, friends, family members, and more. They take you under their wing to help you grow and develop. Here’s why mentoring is so important, especially for children and younger adults. Mentors also provide their mentees with advice and guidance that helps them figure out what they want and how to achieve it.
Similarly, if there is something a mentee is curious about or unsure of, they can ask their mentor for advice on the matter. This can help keep mentees on the right path and avoid them making any critical mistakes by getting involved with things they don’t understand. With a mentor, mentees can feel accepted, comfortable, and seen since their mentor offers a safe, judgment-free space.
There is a wide range of types of mentors. In my soon-to-release book, Energi4u, I explore the many kinds. Some of the most important to me have been Leadership and Spiritual Mentors.
If you want to grow, you will want some challengers in your life who will tell you when they think you’re doing something wrong or if you need to spend more time thinking something through. They ask the tough questions that help you analyze your situation realistically. You also would greatly benefit from the “Cheerleader, the Coach, and the Educator. Just as we experienced in school, we can greatly enhance our performance with a whole team of support! I have Lupus and would not be able to maintain wellness without them!
During an advisory meeting in 1993, Phil Lee stated,
A good fellow-mentor relationship is one of the single most important determinants of a successful health policy fellowship.
The importance of mentoring was clearly understood by all the programs, as evidenced by their emphasis on supplementing the classroom experience with various research projects that stimulated faculty and fellow interaction and that taught students how to apply theories and techniques to answer real-life problems.”
Find people who you admire. People who are living parts of their life in a way you aspire to, or who currently have the career that you want to have.
Spend time with them and get to know their routines, their resources, and how they go about their days. You can gain valuable insight into steps you might want to take to get you closer to your goals! I wrote and interacted with an entrepreneur group for two years. The amazing people I met and was inspired by got me through the worst of my days.
Some days you just need an awesome listener. Someone to remind you that it’s okay and tomorrow is another day. A good teammate realizes that you aren’t always looking for a solution to your problem, or a motivational speech to spur you on. You just need someone to listen with a sympathetic ear and then allow you to move on.
Women can benefit from mentoring—and from being mentors. Learn why more women are engaging in these transformational relationships.
This much is clear: Mentoring women in the workplace is a must for business growth. A few of the statistics from the study demonstrate the urgency for companies that don’t have mentoring programs for women:
- 63% of women have never had a formal mentor.
- 56% of organizations have a formal program for mentoring.
- 3 out of 4 women who work for a company with a formal mentoring program reported they always accept mentoring opportunities.
Take a moment and reflect on what you might also have to offer to someone else. Be aware of the needs of others around you and step in if you are able. Mentoring can be a very rewarding experience for all involved! The experiences of the young people surveyed showed significant positive outcomes for those who had a mentor.
Young people facing risks with mentors were more likely to aspire to attend and enroll in college. They were more likely to report participating in sports and other extracurricular activities. They also were more likely to report taking on leadership roles in school and extracurricular activities and to regularly volunteer in their communities.
National trends point to the increased popularity of mentor programs to enhance protective factors and decrease poor life outcomes for at-risk youth. Generally, substantial empirical evidence confirms improved outcomes for at-risk youth involved in mentoring programs; however, there is limited empirical evidence linking mentor training and programmatic support to the strength of mentoring relationships and youth outcomes. This evaluation investigates the impact of Enhanced Mentor Training and Peer Support for mentors on the quality of mentor-mentee relationships and mentee outcomes. The research was conducted in conjunction with an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in Harrisonburg, Virginia, an established mentoring program that has consistently surpassed national standards in all areas of quality metrics. A total of 459 matches were enrolled in the three-year study. We utilized a between-subject experimental design, with three, randomly assigned intervention groups: a) Enhanced Mentor Training b) Peer Support, and c) an Interaction Intervention. The report concludes with recommendations from an implementation analysis and an outcome evaluation to inform the work of mentoring researchers and practitioners.